The terms mentioned restricts any deepfake-related projects on the platform. Colab is an online computing platform that enables researchers to run Python code directly in the browser while utilizing free computing resources such as GPUs.
Colab is great for training machine learning projects such as deepfake models or performing data analysis because of the multi-core nature of GPUs.
This ban might considerably reduce the pool of developers capable of training higher-resolution models, where the input and output images are more comprehensive and more suited to high-resolution outcomes.
Several users received warning alerts who tried to run deepfakes on Colab. The warning message mentioned, “You may be executing code that is disallowed, and this may restrict your ability to use Colab in the future. Please note the prohibited actions specified in our FAQ.”
However, it is to be noted that not all deepfake codes were displaying warning alerts to users.
The ban was implemented earlier this month, according to archive.org historical data, with Google Research secretly adding deepfakes to the list of blacklisted projects. For instance, a Reddit user reported that he was successfully able to run one of the most popular deepfake Colab projects.
A Google spokesperson said to TechCrunch, “Deepfakes were added to our list of activities disallowed from Colab runtimes last month in response to our regular reviews of abusive patterns.”
The spokesperson further added that deterring misuse is a never-ending game, and they cannot provide particular tactics since counterparties can use the information to bypass detection systems.